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05/04/2021

 


  Agreement Reached to Sell School Bus Contractor First Student for $4.6 Billion

EQT has entered into an agreement with FirstGroup plc to acquire First Student and First Transit
EQT has entered into an agreement with FirstGroup plc to acquire First Student and First Transit - Photo: School Transportation News


  From School Transportation News:

EQT Infrastructure, one of the world's largest infrastructure investors, has entered into an agreement with FirstGroup plc to acquire First Student and First Transit. Operations will reportedly continue as usual and uninterrupted with the same local teams and leadership.

In December 2019, FirstGroup based in Aberdeen, Scotland, announced a review of strategic alternatives regarding both First Student, the largest student transportation provider in North America with 43,000 school buses in operation, and First Transit to unlock shareholder value.  In March of last year, FirstGroup initiated a formal process to sell both divisions.

EQT is a global private equity firm and blue-chip infrastructure investor. According to a statement issued last week by First Student, EQT is reputable and experienced, with the deployment of $11 billion in equity in North America since 2012.

"This news reinforces that the steps we're taking to grow our business are working," added First Student President Paul Osland. "While challenging, the pandemic has illustrated that we are able to maintain operations and generate stable returns even in the most difficult operating conditions. Our full focus continues to be on providing safe, reliable, industry-leading service in the communities where we operate."

Meanwhile, EQT announced that the acquisition is listed at $4.6 billion. EQT stated it is committed to building upon the success of First Student and First Transit by continuing to invest in organizational, operation and digital technologies.

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The Corona Virus has had a significant negative impact on certain market segments of our industry.
Consequently, the September 2020 and March 2021 Official Commercial Bus Book and the
April 2021 Official School Bus Blue Book will all be coming out in the next few weeks.
Place your orders today to make sure you reserve your copies.

 
  Operators, vendors share highlights of 2021 EXPO

Operators and vendors alike said they appreciated that UMA pushed through COVID-19 challenges to host an in-person EXPO.
Operators and vendors alike said they appreciated that UMA pushed through COVID-19 challenges to host an in-person EXPO. - Photo: Bus & Motorcoach News


    From Bus & Motorcoach News:

Alvin Harris, President and CEO of the second-generation Horizon Motorcoach in Augusta, Georgia, says he appreciated that the United Motorcoach Association held an in-person EXPO in 2021 despite the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We definitely know it's different from all the other EXPOs, but we are so grateful that UMA put this together because it's a start to get us back into transporting people," said Harris.

Operators and vendors alike said they appreciated that UMA pushed through COVID-19 challenges to host an in-person EXPO.

After walking the Exhibit Hall to talk to vendors about services and products, he took a break in the Sardo booth, where he was invited to slip his feet into a heated foot massager.  Harris said he felt reenergized at EXPO after the educational seminars, speakers, Exhibit Hall and connecting with his industry friends.

Sharing highlights

UMA Members and vendors were happy to share highlights of the EXPO in Orlando, Florida. The industry conference marked the 31st for Sandy Follis, who has been with longtime motorcoach industry supplier Sardo Bus & Coach Upholstery for all of those years................

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The Corona Virus has had a significant negative impact on certain market segments of our industry.
Consequently, the September 2020 and March 2021 Official Commercial Bus Book and the
April 2021 Official School Bus Blue Book will all be coming out in the next few weeks.
Place your orders today to make sure you reserve your copies.

 
  GA District Adopts CalAmp's Contact Tracing, Fleet Management Solutions

Marietta (Ga.) City Schools is partnering with technology solutions supplier CalAmp
Marietta (Ga.) City Schools is partnering with technology solutions supplier CalAmp - Screenshot: CalAmp/Synovia Solutions


    From School Bus Fleet:

Marietta (Ga.) City Schools is partnering with technology solutions supplier CalAmp to conduct contact tracing and deploy its communication and fleet management solutions.

The school district was recently included in a study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to better understand COVID-19 transmission in a school environment, according to a news release from CalAmp. The study was featured on a March episode of the CBS News program “60 Minutes" as well as several Atlanta area media outlets.

"Our role in the CDC study has been a great opportunity for our schools to be part of better understanding COVID and how it spreads," said Kimberly Ellis, the transportation director at Marietta City Schools. “It's been huge for us to have the Bus Guardian system in place so the research team could include the school bus as part of the student's daily journey."

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